The flu season normally starts towards the end of the fall, but seasonal influenza is reportedly starting much earlier this year. Fox News’ Dr. Manny Alvarez sits down with a Harvard Medical School doctor to discuss everything you need to know about this year’s flu season.
Some 1,300 people across the United States have died of the flu so far this year, according to new Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimates.
In a report released Friday, federal health officials said there have been at least 2.6 million flu illnesses this year and 23,000 hospitalizations.
Flu activity has been reported across the country, but some states — namely Alabama, Arkansas, Georgia, Mississippi, Nebraska, New Mexico, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Virginia, and Washington — have reported “high” flu activity levels. Puerto Rico has seen high flu activity as well.
Most of the illnesses this year have been caused by the influenza B/ Victoria viruses, which the CDC said is “unusual for this time of year.” This strain is most commonly reported among children 4 years of age or younger, according to the report.
“It’s not too late to get vaccinated,” said health officials. “Flu vaccination is always the best way to prevent [the] flu and its potentially serious complications.”